People love cicada art possibly more than they love cicadas (my social media posts about cicada art get more views than photos of cicadas).
Here’s Vincent van Gogh’s Three Cicadas. It’s an ink & paper sketch and study. He created it in 1889, in Saint-rémy-de-provence, France. If you want to see it IRL, it’s at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
I’d like to, but I can’t think of something clever to say about the fact that cicadas sing, and van Gogh removed his left ear.
Halloween is almost here, and so I created something special for that time of year: a poster of cicadas with pronotal collars that look like Dracula’s collar — or at least Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. Or maybe Dr. Strange?
Today I took a fresh look at the 3301 Cicada image. In the past I thought it was a composition of multiple cicadas — and it still might be — but I now think it’s primarily a Distantalna splendida formerly Tosena splendida, a cicada found in southern Asia (China, India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.). Distortions caused by embossing — or whatever filters they used — makes identifying the cicada difficult.
Here’s my comparison of the wings.
I will probably do a comparison of the body and head at some point.
Here’s a photo of this Splendid cicada:
Specimens vary in appearance (size, wing patterns) from individual to individual — they all look similar, but they’re not exact matches. The process of spreading a specimen’s wings and preserving it can also alter its appearance, and introduce unnatural changes to the insect’s morphology.
Distantalna splendida are easy to find on eBay or taxidermy shops if you’re interested, although they’re often mislabeled using their former name Tosena splendida, or something totally different.
This year I tried something new and used real cicada exuvia (skins/shells) and LED “fairie lights”, which seem to run cool enough that they won’t be a hazard to the fragile skins. They look pretty. I’m still in the testing phase, but the results so far look promising.
New emoji are coming soon. A adult butterfly will be added to the list of insect emoji, which include a beetle, ant, caterpillar (aka larval butterfly) and bee. You know what is missing? A cicada.I doubt we’ll get it now that the emoji are decided by a consortium, but you never know.
Everyone knows cicadas love to sing (the males) or be serenaded (the females).
A lot of people like to write songs inspired by cicadas. If you search online music stores or YouTube, you’ll find hundreds of songs about cicadas, in every genre imaginable including rap, country, rock, folk, dance, parody, classical and experimental.
Here are some cicada songs:
The Cicada Song by CincyPolly
Cicada Serenade by The Pheromones
Genre: 1980s Rap.
Cicada By Hannah Gansen
Laura Imbruglia sings her song Cicada on a talk show for teens (YouTube Link):
(You might want to skip ahead 20 seconds to when the music starts.)
Here’s one of my favorite bands, Southern Culture on the Skids peforming their song Cicada Rock (YouTube link):
CICADA Song – SICKA CICADAS by Kathy Ashworth:
Not quite a song, but still very much an audio performance about cicadas: Tessa Farmer and David Rothenberg perform Magicicada in Dublin (YouTube Link):
Do you have a favorite cicada song? Let us know in the comments!
This week I bought The 17-Year Locust Tour by the band The Agency. It was recorded in Leetown, West Virginia, and copyrighted in 1993. Periodical cicadas are known as “17-Year Locusts” in the U.S., which is where this band got the name for the album. My guess is the album title was inspired by the Brood XIV emergence of 1991.
I haven’t yet listened to the album from start to finish but it falls into the hard rock genre.
The artwork is very nice and was done by bassist and singer Paul Sager using Corel Draw. I used Corel Draw to create the first Cicada Mania logo.
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I made cicada Christmas lights using some LED USB Christmas lights, and some plastic cicada whistles from Australia. The song of cicadas heralds the Christmas season in many countries in the southern hemisphere like Australia.